A rocket strike on a synagogue in Ashkelon on Sunday

UN chief to Security Council: Israel, Gaza fighting 'utterly appalling'

Guterres says global body 'actively engaging all sides toward immediate ceasefire'; Israel's envoy says country taking 'unparalleled steps to prevent civilian casualties' in response to Hamas attacks; Palestinian FM: Israel murdering families in their sleep

Reuters, Ynet |
Published: 05.16.21 , 19:28
United Nation Secretary-General Antonio Guterres told the UN Security Council on Sunday that hostilities in Israel and Gaza were "utterly appalling" and called for an immediate end to fighting.
  • Follow Ynetnews on Facebook and Twitter

  • Opening the 15-member council's first public meeting on the conflict, Guterres said the UN was "actively engaging all sides toward an immediate ceasefire" and called on them "to allow mediation efforts to intensify and succeed."
    5 צפייה בגלריה
    אשקלון, פגיעה ישירה בבית כנסת ברחוב משה שרת בעיר
    אשקלון, פגיעה ישירה בבית כנסת ברחוב משה שרת בעיר
    A rocket strike on a synagogue in Ashkelon on Sunday
    (Photo: Reuters)
    The death toll in Gaza jumped to 181 overnight, including 47 children, amid an intensive IDF air and artillery barrage since the fighting erupted last Monday.
    Ten people have been killed in Israel, including two children, in thousands of rocket attacks by Hamas and other terror groups.
    Israel says its Iron Dome missile defense system has intercepted 90% of the rockets headed for inhabited areas and that many of the projectiles have struck inside Gaza itself, causing injury and death.
    5 צפייה בגלריה
    עזה לאחר תקיפות צה"ל
    עזה לאחר תקיפות צה"ל
    The aftermath of an IDF strike on Gaza
    (Photo: EPA)
    "Each time Israel hears a foreign leader speak of its right to defend itself it is further emboldened to continue murdering entire families in their sleep," Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Malki told the Security Council.
    Israel's UN Ambassador Gilad Erdan said Israel's response to indiscriminate attacks by Hamas strictly adhered to international law and that the country was taking "unparalleled steps to prevent civilian casualties."
    "Israel uses its missiles to protect its children. Hamas uses children to protect its missiles," Erdan said.
    5 צפייה בגלריה
    יירוטי כיפת ברזל במטח לעבר המרכז
    יירוטי כיפת ברזל במטח לעבר המרכז
    Iron Dome intercepts missiles from Gaza over central Israel
    (Photo: Yonatan Kellerman)
    The Security Council met privately twice last week over the worsening violence, but has so far been unable to agree on a public statement because the United States - a strong ally of Israel - did not believe it would be helpful, diplomats said.
    "We call upon the U.S. to shoulder its responsibilities, take a just position, and together with most of the international community support the Security Council in easing the situation," said Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, who chaired Sunday's meeting as China is council president for May.
    UN Middle East envoy Tor Wennesland urged the international community to "take action now to enable the parties to step back from the brink."
    5 צפייה בגלריה
    כוחות צה"ל בגבול רצועת עזה
    כוחות צה"ל בגבול רצועת עזה
    IDF artillery troops on the Gaza border
    (Photo: AP)
    Truce efforts by Egypt, Qatar and the United Nations have so far offered no sign of progress.
    The United States sent an envoy to the region and President Joe Biden spoke with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Saturday.
    "Concessions must be made as a price to be paid for peace so as to spare people from paying the heavy price of war," Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry told the Security Council.
    5 צפייה בגלריה
    בני גנץ
    בני גנץ
    Defense Minister Benny Gantz, center, meeting with Israeli Air Force Commander Amikam Norkin, left, on Sunday
    (Photo: Defense Ministry)
    A source in Jerusalem said earlier Sunday that an imminent ceasefire had not been on the agenda of a four-hour security cabinet meeting.
    He said that ministers had approved the continuation of the IDF assault on terror targets in Gaza, dubbed Operation Guardian of the Walls.
    A source in the cabinet also said the operation would end this week but added that, "There is no great international pressure to stop."

    Talkbacks for this article 0